Sony A1+200-600 -- Bosque Del Apache (image heavy)

If you would like to post, you'll need to register. Note that if you have a BCG store account, you'll need a new, separate account here (we keep the two sites separate for security purposes).

Hatch1921

Well-known member
Hi all,

A little backstory, I've shot Nikon for the past few years, and I wanted to give Sony and the A1 a try. This is my first venture into the mirrorless world, and it's been amazing, frustrating, head-scratching, and everything between. :) Today is the 16th day with the combo and I've had highs and lows with the system. I'm sure 99% of my issues are user error based, from slow shutter speeds with the longer focal length, selecting the wrong focus settings, you name it. I have been able to capture several images of the past couple of weeks I would personally hang on my wall, shots I don't believe I would have been able to capture with my D850 just based on shutter speeds and AF tracking.

I spent Friday afternoon, Saturday, and Sunday morning at Bosque snapping away.

Positives

  • FPS -- a gift and a burden as you can fill up the cards quickly. I have shots that give me options to which were the strongest images in the series.

  • 200-600 --zooming--- sounds a little nutty but I've shot primes for so long I had to keep telling myself you can zoom in and out. I captured images I wouldn't have just using my 500pf thanks to being able to zoom.

  • Buffer -- zero issues shooting long bursts of images and ever bogging down the camera.

  • AF tracking/acquiring focus -- it does a really nice job finding and sticking to the subject, even when there were challenging scenes of brush in the way, I was able to keep the focus point on the eye of the animal. Yes, there were times it would focus on the stick in front of the subject, I haven't shot a camera that hasn't. :)

  • Colors -- coming from Nikon --- I think Sony has done a great job with the color science on the A1, I'm really enjoying what the camera is capturing/producing color wise.

  • EVF -- zero issues with the EVF and its performance. Being able to shoot bursts of images blackout free is a great experience.

Negatives

  • OSS -- I shot the first day and a half with OSS on the lens set to 3 based on a suggestion from a 200-600 shooter that made mention the lens performs much better off of mode -- reviewed the images, tons were soft. Now… I know several factors outside of OSS can produce soft images. Handholding, shutter speeds too low, atmospheric conditions, etc. I shot the evening of Saturday and then Sunday morning with the OSS off. Images were crisp, even with me handholding down to slow shutter speeds in several different scenarios. My "keeper rate" increased considerably. I don't know if this is common with the 200-600 as I only purchased one lens to give Sony a try and I don't have another lens with OSS on it to test.

  • Auto ISO -- my experience and it could be user error, maybe based on the metering setting (multi) that I was using...it sucked. That's about as plain as I can put it. Compared to my D850, Auto ISO on the A1 was a nightmare. As soon as I started making the ISO choices, all was well. There were scenes that should have been ISO 1000 (when I made the choice) that Auto ISO was setting to 8000 or more. Again, this could be 100% my fault as I haven't spent that much time with the system, I just know as soon as I turned it off, life was better. lol

  • 200-600 -- front heavy compared to how well balanced my D850/500pf combo is.

  • Post processing -- I feel I must work the hell out of the images compared to my D850 files. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of latitude, and the files can be worked to produce print worthy shots. I do think I see more ISO in the lower ISO ranges than what the D850 produces. With PureRAW or Topaz---things clean up very well. Again, I just think it's taking me more time in post to get more out of the files. Or I'm just crazy :)

Overall

  • Even if I didn't capture a single shot, I still had a great time at Bosque, it's hard not to enjoy the place. Tons of wildlife to view! The weather was in the upper 60's in the evening and 30's in the morning, crystal clear skies, no pollution... just a wonderful place to clear the mind and forget about work/life/responsibilities. :)

  • I shot over 6000 images (all electronic shutter) and I have more than enough shots to fill my office walls. I missed a ton of great moments as well, odds are... my fault based on so many things I could have done better looking back. One big one... why drag a monopod along with a great Wimberly head on it... and never use it? That was a big mistake and one I'll not repeat going forward

  • The camera/lens combo is very capable of capturing amazing images… user error cost me a ton of potentially stellar images. I'm still not sure about the OSS and Auto ISO.. could be me…could be the setup?

  • Ergonomics - I have the grip on the camera -- the setup was comfortable. I broke my middle finger early on in life and it's a little deformed ROFL so... the space between the lens and the camera ... my finger hits and rubs. It's not Sony's fault... but... I didn't like not having the space.


All in all... it's been a positive experience -- now... do sell the combo and order the Z9 and wait? I honestly don't know what to do...when I hit shots with this thing.... I'm 100% all in... but the OSS / Auto ISO and grip space have me scratching my head. I'll give it some thought... continue working the images from the past two weeks and make the decision in the next day or so. It's a great problem to have... amazing times we are living in when it comes to the tech we have at our fingertips.



Thanks for making it this far as I babble on... on to the images. If you photograph wildlife and haven't been to Bosque.. make the trip...it has a lot to offer.

Hatch

01
Sony A1+200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

02
Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

03
Sony A1+200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

04
Sony A1 +200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

05
Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

06
Sony A1+200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

07
Sony A1 +200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

08
Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

09
Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

10
Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

11
Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

12
Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

13
Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

14
Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

15
Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

16
Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

17
Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr'

18
Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

19
Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

20
Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr
 
Last edited:

lwan

Member
Supporting Member
Awesome shots.
OSS works fine for me between 1/125 and 1/1000 in mode 3, but I too prefer having it off and be on a stable support. As you said, sharpness consistency is better.
My a7RIV has a strong tendency to vastly overexpose (in my opinion) when in auto ISO. Not sure if that's the case for all Sony cameras. But vastly overexpose is relative, the histogram looks right on the screen, but the raw file has clipped highlights and looks way too bright for my taste. It's a bummer but I swing between -1 and -2 EV all the time, sometimes as much as -3 for white subjects. I've tried every metering modes but it didn't really changed anything. I'm now only using large spot metering, after staying for a while in multi metering. Not really sure what is off, metering or the histogram. Luckily there is a dedicated EC dial...
Anything a1-specific I can't comment, and likely never will :)
 

RichF

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Yes, Awesome images.

No experience w/ the A1 so no advise. I would wait and get real world reviews of the z9 before deciding. For the moment I am sticking with Nikon
 

Hatch1921

Well-known member
Thread starter
Awesome shots.
OSS works fine for me between 1/125 and 1/1000 in mode 3, but I too prefer having it off and be on a stable support. As you said, sharpness consistency is better.
My a7RIV has a strong tendency to vastly overexpose (in my opinion) when in auto ISO. Not sure if that's the case for all Sony cameras. But vastly overexpose is relative, the histogram looks right on the screen, but the raw file has clipped highlights and looks way too bright for my taste. It's a bummer but I swing between -1 and -2 EV all the time, sometimes as much as -3 for white subjects. I've tried every metering modes but it didn't really changed anything. I'm now only using large spot metering, after staying for a while in multi metering. Not really sure what is off, metering or the histogram. Luckily there is a dedicated EC dial...
Anything a1-specific I can't comment, and likely never will :)
Yes, Awesome images.

No experience w/ the A1 so no advise. I would wait and get real world reviews of the z9 before deciding. For the moment I am sticking with Nikon
What an awesome series of shots. Incredible variety. Really like the snow geese one👍👍👍
Nice, that camera/lens produced some dandies.

Thank you all very much for your comments. It appears some of my settings (not shocking lol) were not ideal for what I was trying to achieve. For instance and feel free to have a chuckle at my expense :) I didn't have the view finder set to WYSIWYG.. I was just using the meter/arrow like any DLSR. I've since changed that and going forward....that's a game changer. I also didn't have my AF set to release. Why I changed it as it was set to release... no clue. I think this would be really helped as my recent hawk shots were taken with this setup. There are a number of other settings I need to go back and really think about how I will use them and where they should be programmed on custom keys. Good times!

Thanks again all.
Hatch
 

Icarus

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thank you all very much for your comments. It appears some of my settings (not shocking lol) were not ideal for what I was trying to achieve. For instance and feel free to have a chuckle at my expense :) I didn't have the view finder set to WYSIWYG.. I was just using the meter/arrow like any DLSR. I've since changed that and going forward....that's a game changer. I also didn't have my AF set to release. Why I changed it as it was set to release... no clue. I think this would be really helped as my recent hawk shots were taken with this setup. There are a number of other settings I need to go back and really think about how I will use them and where they should be programmed on custom keys. Good times!

Thanks again all.
Hatch
PMR (Patrck Murphy Racey I believe) has a good video out on setting up the a1 for action. One of the things that he mentioned which I found of interest is that the EVF is set to auto by default and changes according to light? Anyhow, he recommends putting it on manual. Which I did after finally figuring out you have to look at menu in the EVF to get the manual option. I shot today and my shots were not where I wanted them exactly, but they were very consistent. So, I'll darken EVF down a little which I think will give me slightly better exposure. Time will tell, I like you am still fairly new with this camera, but I'm in love, except for the fact that if you mess up the shot, it ain't the camera. LOL
 

abc123brian

Well-known member
Great shots! I have not been to NM, so will add that to the long list of places I need to check out. Regarding the camera, you could always get on the list for the Z9 and decide when the time comes. There should also be some real world reviews out by then since it sounds like there is a waiting list. It shouldn't take long to offload the A1 if you decide to go Z9.
 

Syllog

Well-known member
Really enjoying your posts Hatch - thanks for taking the time to share your experience, frustrations and these great shots. Please keep them coming. Is image 04 a Sand Hill Crane? Very similar looking bird to the Brolga we have here in Australia, Andy
 

Hatch1921

Well-known member
Thread starter
PMR (Patrck Murphy Racey I believe) has a good video out on setting up the a1 for action. One of the things that he mentioned which I found of interest is that the EVF is set to auto by default and changes according to light? Anyhow, he recommends putting it on manual. Which I did after finally figuring out you have to look at menu in the EVF to get the manual option. I shot today and my shots were not where I wanted them exactly, but they were very consistent. So, I'll darken EVF down a little which I think will give me slightly better exposure. Time will tell, I like you am still fairly new with this camera, but I'm in love, except for the fact that if you mess up the shot, it ain't the camera. LOL
Great shots! I have not been to NM, so will add that to the long list of places I need to check out. Regarding the camera, you could always get on the list for the Z9 and decide when the time comes. There should also be some real world reviews out by then since it sounds like there is a waiting list. It shouldn't take long to offload the A1 if you decide to go Z9.
Really enjoying your posts Hatch - thanks for taking the time to share your experience, frustrations and these great shots. Please keep them coming. Is image 04 a Sand Hill Crane? Very similar looking bird to the Brolga we have here in Australia, Andy
Thank you all. I will take a look at Patrick's video this evening and see if there is anything in there I need to add or adjust in my settings.

@abc123brian do make the trip out, I think the actual crane festival is taking place next week? Tons of wildlife to view and photograph.

@Syllog Thank you. Yes, this is a sandhill crane, funky looking bird :)

Here's a shot I just worked... it turns out my monitor reset to factor specs.. why.. no clue. So... some of my images are underexposed as I thought they were where they needed to be during post processing. I recalibrated and I think it looks better? Thoughts?

Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

thanks again all for the comments.
Hatch
 

Hatch1921

Well-known member
Thread starter
Some wonderful shots; clearly doesn't matter what brand is in your hands :)
Very nice of you to say but I still need to overcome some challenges with the setup and the transition to Sony. It's been interesting to say the least. Glad you enjoyed the images and thanks for the comments.

Hatch
 

Hatch1921

Well-known member
Thread starter
Great shots. The grip space would drive me nuts.
Thank you. It's not something that is distracting me at the moment.. but.. I do wish there was a few mm more space between the lens and the curve of the grip.
 

ElenaH

Active member
Supporting Member
@Hatch1921
Auto ISO on the A1 was a nightmare
I feel I must work the hell out of the images compared to my D850 files
Exactly those two points brought my partner to switch back to Nikon. He was using Sony(s) for about 8 years starting with Sony A7R. Now he has A7R IV. He rented A1 and we were photographing bee-eaters and marsch harriers. He had the same problem: suddenly the exposure changed in the series of shots of the same condition and ISO (grain) was horrible. He could't explain why it was like that. He was shooting with Auto-ISO manual mode. Now you found "a work around" not to use auto-ISO. But... for professional camera of that price-tag?
The other point where he turned off Sony was image processing. EXACTLY what you wrote! He experienced absolutely the same. He could bring the pictures on the same processing level but needed much more time for that (aprx 10x more). The D850 images sometimes didn't need ANY processing after being run in DXO PureRaw.

His statement was: A1 is unreliable. You don't know when the exposure goes viral and when ISO goes crazy. For some people it is OK and they can find the work around or just live with it but he ia a project manager and wants to have the action under control 😀 and it was not the case with ISO+exposure. I am not a project manager but I don't like such a camera as well. It would drive me crazy. Especially for that price. I bought D850 a few month ago (yes, DSLR!) and getting 80-85% of BIF-keepers. The price D850 is 2400€ vs. 7300€ of A1 here, in Europe. But the problem is: you pay such a price and get totally frustrated. I payed for D850 and I have everything under control and I know where and what I did wrong. The problem is that those mistakes of A1 are inconsistent and not easy to reproduce. I read in other forums the same results but famous photographers like Steve cannot tell it loud because it will be considered like damaging the Sony company and the person can be prosecuted. Oherwise you need to prove it. So, this is why we don't hear about it from the big youtube channels.

Sony A1 is definitelly a great camera but with these issues is the price justified? For me definitelly is too expensive.

I think the problem with ISO+exposure can be solved by future software updates.

The other point is: do you like the look of the pictures conpared to Nikon? I had always the feeling that 3D is missing and that Nikon+Nikkors deliver better results, some kind of different rendering. But it could be just my personal taste. I'd like to see the same pictures made by Nikon+Nikkor...
Once we were testing Bokeh of Nikkors (500PF, 200-500, 400), Sigma 150-600 and Sony 200-600. Sony was the worst. Sigma's Bokeh is actually the best. If you still have Nikon and some Nikkor lenses then test the overall picture look by photographing the same (still) subject outside (it must be outside!)
 

Hatch1921

Well-known member
Thread starter
@ElenaH

I'm to the point I need to rule out that the lens has a possible issue with the OSS making the shots soft...or my copy is just soft on the long end. I have a 100-400 on the way to try out. I should have purchased more than one lens at the time, this would have helped me rule out issues with the camera if there are any. Once the lens gets here, I'll spend a few days shooting with it and if the 200-600 needs to go in for repairs, I'll send it in.

I like shooting with the camera combo and can see how the features of a mirrorless system are beneficial. It doesn't have to be the A1, just mirrorless in general. I'm not fully committed to going to the A1 and all Sony moving forward at this point. I need to rule out any gear issues, this will allow we to sell everything in good conscience if I want to hold out for the Z9 and stick with Nikon.

Auto ISO -- I spoke with a Sony rep yesterday and he didn't have an explanation and we didn't do a "deep dive" into why it was making the choices it does. Under many of my shooting circumstances it shouldn't chose such high ISO settings. From my limited experience (day 18) with the camera, it doesn't perform anywhere close to what my D850 does with Auto ISO. I can trust my D850 make the right call and if I'm in a bright scene on a sunny day... it's not going to set the camera at ISO 8000 for example. This is what has happened a number of times with the A1. Now, again, there might be a metering choice I'm making, a setting I'm missing, it's hard to say as I haven't had the camera for all that long. User error could or can be the culprit.

The files -- color has been great, "3d" look or feel.. not seeing a difference between my D850 files and the A1. Where I see the difference is noise... at any ISO... my Nikon files are cleaner straight out of the camera in the lower ISO range. The upper limits are close to the same... it's a 50mpx sensor, I wasn't expecting magical noise reduction but they do take longer to work in post.

There are a number of variables I have to rule out before I can really say the camera isn't for me or it's not living up to my expectations. I have a hawk series where the images I captured I could not have captured with the D850 based on frame rate alone and I don't think the AF would have kept up. They turned out sharp. Why so many of my images from the trip to Bosque Del Apache turned out soft and unusable.. I'm still trying to figure out. Was it settings? Has something gone sideways with the lens and the OSS? I know as soon as I turned off OSS on the lens, my images became sharp compared to what I was producing with it on.

I'm starting to believe I have a new camera curse. My 1st D850 ... drove me nuts, two solid weeks of testing and it turned out the camera body was messed up. I returned it, bought another one and have been shooting with a great camera for the past few years. lol Maybe this A1 has issues and I need to get it fixed or replaced (or I'm the problem)

1. I'm going to go back over my camera settings, learn more about the system...make sure I'm not the problem.
2. I have another lens on the way so I can rule out anything with the camera--just having the one lens doesn't allow me to do this.
3. If the lens has an issue, I'll reach out to the dealer and ask what we need to do to get things fixed or replaced.
4. If I have the same results on the 100-400... the camera goes back or in for repairs/evaluation.

I want to love this setup.. when things "click" it's pretty amazing. But... I've had a lot of frustration at this point. I missed so many great (to me) shots this past weekend...I want to go back and photograph the place again. I like the focal range of the zoom and find it very useful. My expectations for the lens are realistic, I never went into this thinking the results should be 600 f/4 GM level by any means, but, from the results others are getting out of the lens, I'm not seeing it with my copy.

So.. the adventure continues... I still have all my Nikon gear... if I decide to send the combo back to the dealer and take a hit $ wise, it's still cheaper than what I would have spent on a month of rentals. I'll know more Friday when the other lens gets here... I'll shoot the weekend and see how things turn out. Next Monday ... it's stay with Nikon or Sony day :)

Thanks for letting me know others have had challenges with the camera, appreciate the info.

Hatch
 

ElenaH

Active member
Supporting Member
@Hatch1921 Frank, thank you for a long replay! I am very curious how the next lens will work and what your experience with A1 will be. Looking forward to see your next postings!
 

lablover27

New member
I’ll be watching this closely. New a1 owner here and my first outing with it I came away pretty depressed. Same combo as op here. My case is I know the lens is pin sharp as I have used it on a different body and it worked fine. I have noticed unusually high iso as well on auto iso.

I will say I have learned a few things on This post that may have contributed to my bad images. I had oss on and in mode 1 and shutter set at 1/2000 while trying to capture a raptor that was clearly too far. When I saw the out of focus and noisy images on my desktop I was sick to my stomach. I’m pretty sure most of my issues are with the wrong camera settings and lens oss settings. So look forward to Steve’s set up guide
 
Last edited:

lablover27

New member
PMR (Patrck Murphy Racey I believe) has a good video out on setting up the a1 for action. One of the things that he mentioned which I found of interest is that the EVF is set to auto by default and changes according to light? Anyhow, he recommends putting it on manual. Which I did after finally figuring out you have to look at menu in the EVF to get the manual option. I shot today and my shots were not where I wanted them exactly, but they were very consistent. So, I'll darken EVF down a little which I think will give me slightly better exposure. Time will tell, I like you am still fairly new with this camera, but I'm in love, except for the fact that if you mess up the shot, it ain't the camera. LOL
id love to see how to set up the evf in wysiwyg mode. Any chance you have a link to said video?
 

Hatch1921

Well-known member
Thread starter
Congrats on @lablover27 for the new A1 200-600 combo. Are you ready to toss it against a wall? LOL I feel your pain!!!

I'm headed back to Bosque soon and I'll post my results and what I've learned. A couple of changes I'm going to make... I'm going to turn off OSS and shoot at higher shutter speeds when and where I can. I picked up the Wimberly monopod gimble head/ setup...I'll force myself to use it.

WYSIWYG
Turn on this setting
Shooting>9 Shooting Display > Live View Display Set > Live View Display > Setting Effect ON
Exposure Effect >I'm using Exposure Setting only

I shot for first two weeks with this off.. it makes a huge difference.

Auto ISO... I'm still not sold on it... but.. I'm going to try it again. As mentioned in this thread... my D850, fully trust it.

I'm going to use Wide - Zone - and Small Spot for my AF... I might try a tracking mode again... not sure.

I believe I'm the problem here and not the gear. Well.. maybe the OSS isn't doing me any favors but I haven't put in the time to truly rule it out. I picked up the 100-400 and it's sharper than my 200-600. I'll shoot with it as well... so light and easy to handle compared to the 200-600. The images imported in LR are sharp ... so much so... I thought I had a preset applied the 1st time I imported them. I've yet to get that out of the 200-600. I see so many amazing shots with the 2-6 combo and just shake my head. My copy will produce sharp shots... so.. it has to be me just learning how to really use the lens.

Another adjustment... not shooting subjects at long distances... tiny in the frame and often soft from what I've been shooting. So... I'll try to make the adjustment as well.

I'm going to have the D850/500PF out this time and will shoot with it. I had it last time, didn't take a shot with it.

Ok.. enough babble... hang in there with the camera combo.. when the settings are right and we do our part... the results can be amazing. I have a number of shots I know I wouldn't have been able to capture with the D850, just on frame rate alone.

More to come :)

Hatch
 

thelordofthelight

Well-known member
@Hatch1921 hi, have you tried taking some shots with the OSS completely turned off? When i owned the Sony 200-600, I could see a noticeable difference in sharpness when the OSS was totally turned off, while shooting moving subjects like BIF using higher shutter speeds. As to the Auto ISO setting, do you use Manual shooting mode with Auto ISO or something else like aperture/ shutter priority?
 

lablover27

New member
Congrats on @lablover27 for the new A1 200-600 combo. Are you ready to toss it against a wall? LOL I feel your pain!!!

I'm headed back to Bosque soon and I'll post my results and what I've learned. A couple of changes I'm going to make... I'm going to turn off OSS and shoot at higher shutter speeds when and where I can. I picked up the Wimberly monopod gimble head/ setup...I'll force myself to use it.

WYSIWYG
Turn on this setting
Shooting>9 Shooting Display > Live View Display Set > Live View Display > Setting Effect ON
Exposure Effect >I'm using Exposure Setting only

I shot for first two weeks with this off.. it makes a huge difference.

Auto ISO... I'm still not sold on it... but.. I'm going to try it again. As mentioned in this thread... my D850, fully trust it.

I'm going to use Wide - Zone - and Small Spot for my AF... I might try a tracking mode again... not sure.

I believe I'm the problem here and not the gear. Well.. maybe the OSS isn't doing me any favors but I haven't put in the time to truly rule it out. I picked up the 100-400 and it's sharper than my 200-600. I'll shoot with it as well... so light and easy to handle compared to the 200-600. The images imported in LR are sharp ... so much so... I thought I had a preset applied the 1st time I imported them. I've yet to get that out of the 200-600. I see so many amazing shots with the 2-6 combo and just shake my head. My copy will produce sharp shots... so.. it has to be me just learning how to really use the lens.

Another adjustment... not shooting subjects at long distances... tiny in the frame and often soft from what I've been shooting. So... I'll try to make the adjustment as well.

I'm going to have the D850/500PF out this time and will shoot with it. I had it last time, didn't take a shot with it.

Ok.. enough babble... hang in there with the camera combo.. when the settings are right and we do our part... the results can be amazing. I have a number of shots I know I wouldn't have been able to capture with the D850, just on frame rate alone.

More to come :)

Hatch
Great info and thank you
I don’t think I’ve ever gone above 1/2000 but then again I’ve never tried BIF. Also. The switches on the 2-6 are a bit confusing to me. I usually have oss on and in mode one but I’m also just shooting perched birds. I assume if you turn off OSS Then the modes are not in play anymore?

what I was shocked with is the noise. And even at low iso. Then again it was a pretty flat light kind of day. From what I’ve been reading is my pixel peeping at 100% and a very large megapixel file is not a good idea. They clean up fine in dxo raw and topaz I’m coming from a a6400 so the file size is double what I’m used too. I had originally pre ordered the a7iv then thought what the heck you only live once and did the A1 instead
Funny. Took a shot at a squirrel that filled the frame and iso was high and it looked absolutely perfect. I think that raptor that barely took up any frame real estate showed too much blue sky and that’s why I noticed the noise

I’m looking forward to Steve’s input and for a few days off so I can play with it more. Just got the grip as well. Feels wonderful
 

Hatch1921

Well-known member
Thread starter
@Hatch1921 hi, have you tried taking some shots with the OSS completely turned off? When i owned the Sony 200-600, I could see a noticeable difference in sharpness when the OSS was totally turned off, while shooting moving subjects like BIF using higher shutter speeds. As to the Auto ISO setting, do you use Manual shooting mode with Auto ISO or something else like aperture/ shutter priority?

The last day of my trip I turned off OSS and sharpness improved significantly, it was one of the few things I could think of that might have introduced the "softness" in the images. I have shots at 1/4000th that were impacted. Turn off OSS and things "crisp up" for a lack of a better term LOL.

Auto ISO, I'm shutting manual and I have the ISO set to max out at 8000.

Hatch
 

Hatch1921

Well-known member
Thread starter
Great info and thank you
I don’t think I’ve ever gone above 1/2000 but then again I’ve never tried BIF. Also. The switches on the 2-6 are a bit confusing to me. I usually have oss on and in mode one but I’m also just shooting perched birds. I assume if you turn off OSS Then the modes are not in play anymore?

What I was shocked with is the noise. And even at low iso. Then again it was a pretty flat light kind of day. From what I’ve been reading is my pixel peeping at 100% and a very large megapixel file is not a good idea. They clean up fine in dxo raw and topaz I’m coming from a a6400 so the file size is double what I’m used too. I had originally pre ordered the a7iv then thought what the heck you only live once and did the A1 instead
Funny. Took a shot at a squirrel that filled the frame and iso was high and it looked absolutely perfect. I think that raptor that barely took up any frame real estate showed too much blue sky and that’s why I noticed the noise

I’m looking forward to Steve’s input and for a few days off so I can play with it more. Just got the grip as well. Feels wonderful
A number of posts I've read, people are shooting above 1/2500th a sec for BIF or you can (not always) end up with shots that look the birds have a "painted" look to them. I ran into this as well.

Here's one (click on the image for full size..SOOC) as an example. But, I don't know for sure what caused me to miss the entire series? The hawk was close, not a tiny dot, it was shot at 1/3200th a sec, hand-held and either mode 1 or 3 on the lens. The AF mode... I can't recall, It looks like maybe there is severe back focusing going on.. if you look at the right wing feathers? This wasn't all that challenging of a shot as it kept a pretty straight path for about 30-40 shots. I have hawk shots taken prior to these that are sharp and look great.

This "look" happened to me a lot... hundreds of images ruined. Now.. is it the lens? The camera? The lens, me, and the camera? I do know as soon as I tuned off OSS things improved as I mentioned before.

oof by hatch1921, on Flickr


Noise... the A1 is noisy even in the lower ISO range, at least my camera is... sounds like yours is as well. Compared to my D850, the D850 is cleaner in the lower ranges. That being said, the A1 appears to be better than the D850 when you get past ISO 3200 on up. I find myself having to do more steps in post to produce nice shots in the end. I never felt this way on the D850. That being said, I didn't like going past ISO 3200... I'll go higher on the A1.

The grip if you like grips, I always use one makes a difference for sure, a much better "feel" in the hands.

Your squirrel example is what is driving me nuts about this lens/combo. Up close, the 200-600 kills it with fine details even with mode 1 turned on....shoot something at distance and it's hit or miss.

Up close.. hand-held... mode 1 I think... and the fine details are great.
Sony A1 + 200-600 by hatch1921, on Flickr

I do think a large part of all of this is technique... I'm hoping with using the monopod and OSS off....and shooting subjects that are closer and larger in the frame, my images will improve. Atmospheric conditions play a part as well... at Bosque the temps swing from 30's on up this time of year and I think the cold ground and warming air played a part as well.

If this second trip mirrors trip one.. I'm selling the Sony gear (not smart enough to use it lol) and sticking with the D850/500pf combo. I'm hoping things improve and I don't end up selling.. I like the overall package and what it's capable of... again.... it might all just be me in the end. :)

Hatch
 
Top